Re-examining the record of Richard III
Interest in Richard III has grown since his remains were discovered in a Leicester car park and then interred amid pomp and ceremony in the cathedral. But debate continues to surround the ‘bunch-back’d toad’ as Shakespeare called him. Was he responsible for the murder of the princes in the tower or has he been unfairly maligned? David Horspool has written a new biography Richard III (Bloomsbury, hb, £20) of a king who continues to fascinate people today. Edith Cavell was shot as a British spy in October 1915. Her death was marked last month by a number of services commemorating her courage and faith. She helped 200 allied soldiers escape German-occupied Belgium and on the night before her execution she spoke the famous words ‘I realise that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone’. Catherine Butcher tells the story of this remarkable woman in Edith Cavell: Faith Before a Firing Squad (Monarch, Andrew White’s ministry in Baghdad and his work for reconciliation and his relief work have made him a legend. Yet his considerable achievements have involved struggles with both MS and ME and he is currently undergoing stem cell treatment in Iraq. In My Journey So Far (Lion, hb, £14.99) he gives an account of his remarkable life and of the people he has known, including both Lord Carey and Archbishop Justin Welby. Nick Page wanted to get to the bottom of the Book of Revelation so he decided to go to Patmos and visit the ruined cities of the seven churches of Revelation. His book Revelation Road (Hodder, pb, £9.99) mixes history, commentary, creative reconstruction and travelogue to get to the bottom of one of the most fascinating and mysterious books in the Bible. No Hiding Place is a classic. It is the memoir of a very remarkable woman, Corrie ten Boom, and the risks she took during the war to shelter Jews. Corrie ten Boom wrote the book with help from John and Elizabeth Sherrill. It has now been reissued by Hodder (pb, £7.99). Although Britain is rich in churches, many have been forgotten, lost, destroyed or even swept out to sea. Matthew Hyde has produced a beautifully illustrated book Britain’s Lost Churches (Aurum Press Ltd, hb, £20), which looks at our lost heritage. You can read about the Episcopal Cathedral in Oban that has never been finished, the great cathedral at St Andrews lost at the Reformation, St Alban Cheetwood, Manchester, and many other buildings. The story is not all loss. Sometimes, as in the case of the bombed St Ethelburga’s, Bishopsgate, a church that has been bombed or otherwise destroyed is put to new use. Highly recommended. History is full of amazing stories. In The Astronomer and the Witch (OUP, hb, £20) Ulinka Rublack recounts the astronomer Johannes Kepler’s struggle to prevent his mother from being killed as a witch. Science and superstition meet at the start of the modern age. Canadian writer Sarah Bessey has written an honest and compelling account of her faith journey in Out of Sorts (DLT, pb, £9.99).